SPECIAL REPORT: Coolsculpting - A Cool Way to Fight Fat

Updated: May. 3, 2018 at 9:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Summer is almost here and there's a hot new trend that could be just the thing you need to be bathing suit ready. It's called Coolsculpting.

One Columbus doctor says Coolsculpting could have you looking hot if you've got the time and money. Coolscuplting is touted as the non-invasive, pain-free way to shed unwanted fat. Doctors say it works by freezes the fat away.

"Per treatment, it should destroy about 20 to 25 percent of the fat and those fat cells are permanently gone," says Dr. Bernadette Blount with Best Care International in Columbus. Blount is a family practitioner and doctor of bariatric medicine. She says she was the first to bring Coolsculpting to Columbus. FDA approved for abdominal fat reduction in 2010; the process has piqued the interest of many in the continuous battle of the bulge.

"I had an area on my stomach that I couldn't get rid of," says Coolsculpting patient, Elizabeth Collins. Like so many women, the 30-year-old says she tried diet and exercise, but still couldn't seem to get rid of those extra pounds around her waist, so she turned to Coolsculpting.

"I chose Coolsculpting because it was non-invasive. I don't have much time for downtime," Collins says.

She underwent two treatments, which involves placing suction clips along the targeted areas as the machine sucks in and freezes the fat through your skin. The treatments take about 45 minutes to an hour.

"It's very cold and you feel numb at the end when it's all done, but that'll go away pretty fast," says Collins. "In the beginning, you do feel the suction clip onto your skin but after that, it feels like an ice pack."

After the fat cells have been frozen, they die and are naturally flushed out of the system. Results don't happen overnight.  Blount says it takes from 8 to 16 weeks to see any change.

"My friends and family have seen the before and after pictures and they've seen my stomach. They do notice a big difference," says Collins.

Collins is happy with her results, but  Blount is quick to say Coolsculpting is not right for everyone.

"In my opinion, the prime candidate is really within10 to 15 pounds of their goal weight or the people that just have stubborn fat that they've exercised and they just can't get rid of it," Blount says.

For those who may have more than a small roll in the middle and who are looking for quick results, the doctor says you might want to consider a different procedure.

"Coolsculpting can get a bad rap when people have unrealistic expectations," Blount says. "So if you come to me and your stomach hangs out to here, are you going to be happy if it's only reduced by 20 to 25 percent? Probably not. So you need to know that if you're significantly overweight you're going to need multiple treatments."

at about $1,500 a treatment, that could add up. Blount says the cost for Coolsculpting is comparable in price to liposuction. The difference is liposuction is an actual invasive surgery done with anesthesia and comes with all the potential side effects that come with surgery.

"Coolsculpting is non-invasive and side effects may include short-term bruising but are usually minor," says \Blount.  "Almost anybody can be a Coolsculpting candidate, it just might take you more than one session to get your 'wow' results."

While the average price per treatment is about $1,500, they can be as low as $800 depending on the area. The FDA has also approved Coolscuplting to eliminate fat in other targeted areas like love handles, thighs, bra strap area, and double chins.

Remember if you decide to go with the procedure, results are not immediate. Expect to wait two to four months before you see any change.

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